gAlan, a Graphical Audio Language

gAlan screenshot from 1998

gAlan is an experimental modular audio-processing application for X-windows1 which allows construction and simulation of various synthesisers, sound effects, sequencers and drum machines. The user draws a graph of audio-processing nodes and connects them together to achieve a desired processing pipeline. Audio signals travel from left to right across the graph, and control signals travel from the top toward the bottom. Each node in the graph can have associated UI widgets, which can be manifested on a separate control sheet and arranged in an appropriate layout for controlling whatever instrument is being built as it plays.

I wrote gAlan and its documentation and website in 1999, after having experimented with digital audio over the previous couple of years2. After the first release, very little development happened on the project, because I changed jobs and became very busy at work, so when a couple of years later Torben Hohn expressed interest in taking over the maintainership of the project, I was relieved to be able to hand it over to someone who had time to work on it.

These days, there are tools like puredata and supercollider available for Linux, but at the time I wrote gAlan, there was very little of the kind available.

  1. and there used to be a flaky port to Windows 98, as well 

  2. for example, as described here and here